After a frenetic day and evening of phone calls and e-mails Wednesday, a settlement was reached Thursday (Aug. 26) on the ballot argument relating to Measure R. Measure R is the Palo Alto petition-based measure that would force a citywide election before any Fire Department staff cutbacks or station closures could be done.
It was almost a record for a quick settlement, partly because the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters' office is under a Monday deadline to send the ballot-arguments booklet to the printer.
The anti-Measure R campaign, "SAFE Palo Alto," had filed suit claiming "blatantly false" statements in the pro-Measure R ballot argument, primarily that only "one or two" persons could approve closing a station or reducing staff. The lawsuit said it would take a City Council majority approval for such actions.
Former Mayor Dena Mossar, chair of the anti-Measure R group, said that after a hectic day when attorneys for the group, the Registrar of Voters and Measure R proponent Alan Davis "wrangled" over detailed wording, it went before Superior Court Judge Kevin J. Murphy Thursday morning in San Jose.
Judge Murphy called all three attorneys into his chambers at the mid-morning hearing, and when they emerged a short time later they had agreed to a settlement, Mossar reported.
The revised language states that "Such a decision should not be made solely by the city council" in lieu of one or two individuals.